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How fast is Puppy?
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infinice

Joined: 20 Oct 2019
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun 20 Oct 2019, 15:47    Post subject:  How fast is Puppy?
Subject description: I want to use Blender
 

Howdy folks-
I'm a W7 user that avoided Linux for a long time just because i'm super distractable and W7 (ironically!) has better third-party apps that make it better than Linux at dimming backgrounds and such. Anyway!
I'm studying Blender, which runs faster on Linux. I've read that lightweight distros like Puppy, and Tiny Core, run faster (as they chew up fewer system resources). But nobody (!) benchmarks these assertions.
My questions are:
1) how much faster is Puppy than, say, Mint? (5%? 50%?!)
2] please contrast Tiny Core to me, so i can intelligently choose.
3] I'm hoping to dual boot Puppy (or TinyCore?)- is this doable/simple???
I'm a poor would-be Windows refugee, so please don't recommend anything that will be so difficult that i won't be able to use it (even if faster).

Thanks a lot!

Infinice

Skeleton walks into a bar, orders a beer and a mop.
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 3913
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Sun 20 Oct 2019, 23:07    Post subject:  

Hi ya, infinice. Welcome to the Forum.

Perhaps someone who as actually done it can give you a definitive answer. But you should realize what you've actually asked: someone to install and run Linux Mint; install and run Tiny Core; install and run one of the 5000+ versions of Puppy (all of whose performance may differ slightly); install Blender into each of them; run (at least) each of Blender's major modules under each of those operating system along with an application bench-marking performance; record the results; compare those results and post a response.

The results of such endeavor may not be comparable to those on your computer. As indicated below, the results will to a large extent depend on how much Random Access Memory each computer has; next whether or not the computer has a solid state drive; and, at least to some extent, how powerful is/are the computer's Central Processing Unit(s). CPU determines how quickly operations take place. Multiple CPUs determine how many operations can take place at the same time. Changes to the state of RAM take place many time faster than even changes to solid state drives; changes to solid state drives several time faster than to non-solid state drives; and operations requiring the reading from or writing to a USB-Key will take 10 to 15 time longer than from a non-solid state hard-drive.

The primary determinant of how quickly a computer can perform a task is how much RAM is available. Without regard for what operating system is used, every change --even if just a pixel-- will first take place in RAM. When there is insufficient RAM to hold the data and that portion of the application needed to effect a change to the data, if the system isn’t to crash, one of the following things will happen (1) something –not immediately needed-- will be be moved out of memory to somewhere. Where will depend on what’s available on your system: Zram – a special compressed portion of RAM; cache – a small amount of which may be built into your CPU, the rest being on your storage media; buffer, also on your storage media*; or a SwapFile or Swap-partition which are also dedicated portions of your hard-drive but which Linux systems are able to use as “additional” RAM; albeit operating much slower, how much slower depending on whether your Storage is or isn’t a Solid State Drive.

Both Tiny Core and any version of Puppy should operate much faster than Linux Mint, but for different reasons. Tiny Core is ‘tiny’ because after you first install it, “It is not a complete desktop nor is all hardware completely supported. It represents only the core needed to boot into a very minimal X desktop typically with wired internet access.” http://www.tinycorelinux.net/ From there, the user has to install such other components as (s)he may want or need. If you know what you are doing, you can just install ONLY what you want or need. The result will be a computer system using a minimum of the resources available to your computer, not using any RAM even to create pointers to applications you are not using. However, tiny core functions like all other Linux systems: it treats RAM and Storage Media as a Unity, constantly reading from and writing to Storage, e.g. your hard-drive.

Whether you will be able run blender under Tiny Core is a question depending on your ability to master the intricacies of Linux. The following post suggests trying to do so may not be a suitable project for a Windows’ refugee who actually needs to use Blender. http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php?topic=21422.0

I have Linux Mint on both my Desktop and my Laptop. I never use it. It runs noticeably slower than any Puppy. My ‘guestimate’ is about 30%. Unlike Puppy, Linux Mint does not include a simple application for exploring how it functions under your computer. I’ve never run TinyCore. I’d rather spend my time running applications than figuring out how to.

Puppies obtain their speed differently. All Puppies employ an unique light-weight infra-structure --the files linking the Kernel (Engine) to applications -- and a light-weight file-manager (rox) [a user can install a different file manager such as the light-weight dual-pane xfe] and a light-weight Window-manager (jwm, openbox or xfce). But the primary speed advantage is that a “Frugally” installed Puppy maintains a clear distinction between RAM and Storage. On bootup, Puppy copies into RAM the bare minimum files needed to create a Menu entry and creates in RAM pointers to where the rest of the applications’ files are be found; copying those files into RAM as and when they are needed. Everything thereafter takes place in RAM. By default, a Frugally installed Puppy will only write to Storage once every 30 minutes. [The user can modify that time-interval including to “Never, only when a Save is manually executed, optionally Ask at shutdown”].

The following are reports regarding the usage of RAM with only blender, rox file-manager, and pup-sysinfo --which produced the reports-- running:

xenialpup 32 using Blender 2.79b -- the last 32-bit
Linux Kernel: 4.4.95 (i686)
Memory Allocation:
Total RAM: 3197 MB
Used RAM: 1097 MB
Free RAM: 2100 MB
Buffers: 79 MB
Cached: 870 MB
Total Swap: 0 MB
Free Swap: 0 MB
Actual Used RAM: 148 MB Used - (buffers + cached)
Actual Free RAM: 3049 MB Free + (buffers + cached)
-------
Slacko 5.7.2CE using Blender 2.76 -- 2.79b would not run
Memory Allocation:
Total RAM: 7979 MB
Used RAM: 1092 MB
Free RAM: 6887 MB
Buffers: 36 MB
Cached: 938 MB
Total Swap: 0 MB
Free Swap: 0 MB
Actual Used RAM: 118 MB Used - (buffers + cached)
Actual Free RAM: 7861 MB Free + (buffers + cached)
------
dpup-stretch 7.5 using Blender 2.79b
Linux Kernel: 4.19.56-stretch (i686)
Memory Allocation:
Total RAM: 7885 MB
Used RAM: 1266 MB
Free RAM: 6619 MB
Buffers: 82 MB
Cached: 1014 MB
Total Swap: 0 MB
Free Swap: 0 MB
Actual Used RAM: 170 MB Used - (buffers + cached)
Actual Free RAM: 7715 MB Free + (buffers + cached)
-------
Xenialpup64 using Blender 2.8 --the latest 64-bit version
Linux Kernel: 5.3.4-lxpup64 (x86_64)
Memory Allocation:
Total RAM: 7853 MB
Used RAM: 2320 MB
Free RAM: 5533 MB
Buffers: 116 MB
Cached: 1730 MB
Total Swap: 0 MB
Free Swap: 0 MB
Actual Used RAM: 474 MB Used - (buffers + cached)
Actual Free RAM: 7379 MB Free + (buffers + cached)

[I’m not a Tekkie. As I understand it, the operating system has to keep track of where everything is. To do so, it creates and maintains ‘Pointers’ in RAM. Cached or buffered items already have such pointers. So it takes less time to reload into RAM cached or buffered items than to search for them on Storage, load them into RAM and create new pointers. The reports above indicating memory usage by Cache and Buffer means potential, not current. Consequently, the figures next to the Phrase “Actual Used RAM:” is the most accurate reflection of usage. Puppies use of pointers means calculated potential is never actualized. But, I could be wrong].

Notes re above: 32-bit systems required considerably less RAM than 64-bit Systems. But the newest version of Blender (2.8 ) is only available for 64-bit systems. The Puppy which required the least amount of RAM was the Slacko 5.7.2CE. But it could not run the last 32-bit version of blender (2.79b). On it blender 2.76 (about 2 years old) ran.

Blender was not installed on any of the above operating systems. Rather, they functioned like Window-portables: They were downloaded, unpacked and started by just Left-clicking their executables. For convenience, you can drag an executable to the desktop creating, in window parlance, “a short-cut”. If you ask, I can attach a “pet” which will create a Menu entry. Or someone can point you to posts on how you can create one yourself –simple for even a Window-refugee.

[The computer on which these tests were run actually had 8 Gb of RAM and neither a SwapFile nor a Swap-partition. I’ve just noticed that my version of Xenialpup (32-bit) only “sees” 3197 MB (about 4 Gb) of RAM. It is not using a Kernel appropriate for my computer. This hasn’t been a problem. If it were, I could either install a SwapFile/Folder or change the Kernel, both simple operations even for Window refugees.]
Puppies were designed to co-exist with Windows. A ‘Frugal’ Puppy does not require its own partition. It will happily run from a folder on the same ntfs or fat32 Partition as Windows. Frugal does not mean ‘cut-down’: it is the same operating system as a Legacy/Full install >just packaged differently. But there are good reasons to place even a Frugal Puppy on a Linux formatted partition (something you’d have to do to run Tiny Core or any other Linux with the exception of Puppies and ‘the debian dogs’. Debian dogs are not Puppies. They are based on debian Linux but designed to run like Frugal Puppies). [Even though they are not Puppies, you’ll find their discussion threads on this Forum].

Unlike TinyCore, both Puppies and DebianDogs are designed to be ‘newbie friendly’. However, the best advice I can give you is to tell us about your computer and ask for recommendations. Make & Model of Computer; how much RAM? do you need to run the latest Blender? what other applications do you need or want? How many partitions does your Windows 7 use? Even though you have Windows 7 on the computer, some computers were retro-fitted to use UEFi in order to boot. Not all Puppies are designed to boot from computers employing UEFI. Most new Puppies are, and some older can be made to.

You should also seek advice regarding how to create a Linux partition on your Windows computer.

While you are investigating, there are things you can do on your own: Install rufus in your Windows 7. rufus can be used to install Linux Mint and various Puppies to a USB-Key. I don’t know about Tiny Core. Although running an operating system from a USB-Key will be noticeably slower than from a hard-drive, still you’ll get some idea about how they compare. And, as pointed out above, at least with Puppy you can also just download Blender from its web-site, unpack it to the USB-Stick and run it from there.

Lastly, you may have noted that the report above mentions 4 different Puppies. Puppy is not ONE operating system. It is, rather, a family of operating systems. For the last decade or so every Puppy developed by a Dev has included a tool which even a newbie can use to Remaster that Puppy. At last count there were over 5000 Puppies and Remasters available. Don't let that number scare you. As a practical matter, only about 18 of those published --all within the last 5 years can be used 'out-of-the-box' with the reasonably new computers and the latest or reasonably current applications. To that, add about 6 'debian dogs'. Each of these has its own strong points. The latest versions of both Puppies and Dogs are 'binary compatible' with the latest versions of Slackware 14.2, debian buster/duvian beowolf or Ubuntu Bionic Beaver (or even later). But the latest version may not be the best version for your computer.

For example, of the Puppies I tested above the one which required the least amount of RAM was Slacko 5.7.2CE. It is 'binary-compatible' with the version of Slackware published 6 years ago. However, the Kernel/Engine it uses was published last year. Most of its applications and its infra-structure is older=lighter on resources. But that 'old infra-structure' precludes its use of new Web-browsers based on Google-Chrome/Chromium as well as the last 32-bit Blender. Because of clever work by Puppy Devs, it can use the latest Firefox. And using the lastest Linux equivalent of Microsoft Office doesn't present a problem.

The general rule is that each new version of an operating system and application is created to take advantage of the newest innovations in hardware; but does so by using greater computer resources. We maintain 'old-operating systems' for 'old computers', and create the latest Puppies to take advantage of the newest hardware. What may be the best Puppy for your computer will depend on your computer. So, it's best to ask.
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 13981
Location: S.C. USA

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2019, 07:13    Post subject:  

Only way you are going to know how it works is to try it.

Download one of the Puppy iso's.
Install it to a USB flash drive.
Rufus, Unetbootin, etc..... can do the install.
Boot the computer with this USB drive.

It is going to take a little time to learn how to do things in Puppy.

What do you want to do using Blender?
Puppy may already have a program to do it.

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Moose On The Loose


Joined: 24 Feb 2011
Posts: 970

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2019, 09:53    Post subject: Re: How fast is Puppy?
Subject description: I want to use Blender
 

infinice wrote:
Howdy folks-
[...]
My questions are:
1) how much faster is Puppy than, say, Mint? (5%? 50%?!)
[....]


Both are so fast that the delay is too short to be measured.
Most of the slowness comes from the software you run on the hardware you have. Thus the speed of any given program will be almost exactly the same on any of the compact versions of Linux.

I installed and briefly used blender in Puppy-528.
It worked and was fast but I found I didnt use it so a lost interest.
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 3913
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2019, 14:55    Post subject:  

I disagree slightly with moose-on-the-loose. If you have a "modern" computer with more than sufficient RAM, fast and multiple CPUs, and maybe a solid-state hard-drive you will hardly ever notice the difference in operating speed between a Puppy and Linux Mint. But there are occasions when you will. Those occasions hinge on how much RAM an application uses or how many operations it must perform to produce a desired result.

You'll notice the difference if you open multiple Tabs on your Web-browser. The contents of each web-page you open is 'cached'. Under Linux Mint, that always means 'written to your hard-drive'. Under Puppy --unless you change the configuration-- that means it is 'stored' in RAM.

You're probably not going to compile any applications yourself. Compiling can involve many operations which are both RAM and CPU intensive. Even though each operation will take micro-seconds, the accumulative effect of writing to 'Storage' rather than operating in RAM will be noticeable.

The same may be said about video, graphics (and perhaps audio) creation and editing. Every addition or change of a pixel or a line is a separate operation. The cumulative effect of an operating system which constantly writes each change to a hard-drive will be a noticeable delay. Conversion of one file format to another also means that every bit of data will have to be individually copied. It makes a difference whether it is being written from RAM to RAM or from RAM to Storage; with perhaps additional delays as data is read from Storage into RAM.
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jafadmin

Joined: 19 Mar 2009
Posts: 1258

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2019, 15:17    Post subject:  

Puppy is so fast that unless you wear goggles, your eyelids will start flapping.

Like so --> Cool <--
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infinice

Joined: 20 Oct 2019
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2019, 17:01    Post subject: blender puppy  

Dear Mikesir-
I thank you for your cogent and detailed reply. You talked me right out of it. The project is obviously far beyond the abilities of an (impatient) noob.
(With great power comes great difficulty; sigh.)
I'll still try Linux because it promises to be about 30% faster than W7 at Blender, but a simple hold-my-hand distro like Deepin (and accept the loss of the probably minor speed gain that Puppy would offer).
Thanks for the feedback!

Why are computers like hemorrhoids? When you sit down the pain returns!
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 13981
Location: S.C. USA

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2019, 17:23    Post subject:  

Not even going to try Puppy Rolling Eyes
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jafadmin

Joined: 19 Mar 2009
Posts: 1258

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2019, 17:34    Post subject:  

bigpup wrote:
Not even going to try Puppy Rolling Eyes


In all fairness, puppy isn't a "one size fits all" OS. I save the graphics/rendering intensive requirements for OS's like Mint.
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Geek3579

Joined: 18 Aug 2017
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct 2019, 02:51    Post subject:  

Hi infinice,

All good advice - look at the efforts made to answer your post...what a great puppy community!

I suggest you make a LIVE CD or LIVE USB and try loading/running blender as a trial. Blender is likely to be in the Puppy Package manager already. It could be worth the effort.

I have run openshot video editor on Win 10 and it struggled to run smoothly. No such issues running under Puppy Linux on the same hardware. Even windows programs running under WINE usually run much faster. I also note that hardware is often the most significant factor in running heavy programs.
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 13981
Location: S.C. USA

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct 2019, 09:59    Post subject:  

jafadmin wrote:
bigpup wrote:
Not even going to try Puppy Rolling Eyes


In all fairness, puppy isn't a "one size fits all" OS. I save the graphics/rendering intensive requirements for OS's like Mint.

I guess you are correct.

Bionicpup64 8.0 probably is not running Blender that well.
Or is it! Shocked

Hardware requirements are not that bad except for amount of RAM.
Quote:
Hardware Requirements (Blender 2.80)

32-bit dual core 2Ghz CPU with SSE2 support.
32-bits will be dropped per 2.81.
4 GB RAM.
1280×768 display.
Mouse, trackpad or pen+tablet.
Graphics card with 1 GB RAM, OpenGL 3.3.
Screenshot.jpg
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Screenshot.jpg


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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13129
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct 2019, 11:15    Post subject:  

jafadmin wrote:
I save the graphics/rendering intensive requirements for OS's like Mint.

A larger distro like Mint is going to use up more of your system's resources, which will affect how big apps run.

The advantage of using Mint over Puppy is that your install has a better chance of automatically getting all the required dependencies.
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 13981
Location: S.C. USA

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct 2019, 11:37    Post subject:  

I installed the Linux version of Blender from here:
https://www.blender.org/download/
Unpack blender-2.80-linux-glibc217-x86_64.tar.bz2 using Uextract.
In the Blender directory made by Uextract.
Click on blender exec file to run it.

This seems to have all that is needed to run Blender in Bionicpup64 8.0.

I can tell you for sure that 4GB of RAM is minimum.
The processor being used and graphics hardware also make a big difference.

I tried it on two different computers.

The low spec one had some smooth operation issues, but did work. Really only animated, finished work, had issues running smooth.
It had 2GB of RAM.
That was probably the big problem.

A computer with 16GB RAM, i5 6400 processor, Nvidia Geforce 960 graphics.
Blender worked very smooth with no problems.

Last edited by bigpup on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 12:00; edited 1 time in total
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jafadmin

Joined: 19 Mar 2009
Posts: 1258

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct 2019, 11:59    Post subject:  

rcrsn51 wrote:
jafadmin wrote:
I save the graphics/rendering intensive requirements for OS's like Mint.

A larger distro like Mint is going to use up more of your system's resources, which will affect how big apps run.

The advantage of using Mint over Puppy is that your install has a better chance of automatically getting all the required dependencies.


Mint may use more of my system resources, but it's the resources I bought to use for graphics intensive apps.

Puppy OS runs in RAM. RAM I would rather use for rendering and design. As example, you won't be running this on puppy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BRL-CAD

The one limitation to puppy is that it loads the entire OS and filesystems into RAM. RAM that other OS's use for RAM intensive apps.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13129
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct 2019, 12:03    Post subject:  

jafadmin wrote:
The one limitation to puppy is that it loads the entire OS and filesystems into RAM. RAM that other OS's use for RAM intensive apps.

Code:
pfix=nocopy
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